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Judges’ issues not political -CEPO

The issue of the judges should be treated completely as an administrative issue, not political, said Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO).

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Yakani said as civil society, they have been advocating for genuine, constructive and productive resolution to the crisis that the judges are in, which has to do with the working environment.

“The judiciary, which is the third arm of the government and a critical one in terms of observation of our bill of rights in the constitution and observation of other legal instruments of our country, plays a big role by ensuring that people do not take the law into their own hands since we are in a political conflict,” he said.

Yakani said that it was a surprise to see that twelve of the striking judges were dismissed by President Salva Kiir.

“The case of the judges requires a constructive approach rather than a scenario where judges say they are ready to resign, which we do not want to happen. We don’t want this issue to be politicized, but tackled as an administrative issue,” he said.

Yakani called on the judges and the government to embrace the culture of dialogue to find a constructive and genuine solution and in a timely manner. He said cases are now piling up in the judiciary and some people may decide to take the law into their own hands because they feel there are no more judges.

“The issue of the judges is a professional issue that we need to handle with all genuine responsibility and duty to ensure that we resolve it amicably rather than politicizing it,” he said.

Dismissal of judges will raise a lot of concerns; people will start saying the judiciary has collapsed and others will take the opportunity for political campaigns and put the independence of the judiciary under question, Yakani said.

He further appealed to President Kiir to see the matter of the striking judges from an administrative angle and ensure it is resolved administratively.

“People’s rights and rule of law should be upheld in this country as well as the independence of the judiciary,” Yakani said.

By Sasuk Taban

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